Computer Modeling of Wind Turbines: 1. ALE-VMS and ST-VMS Aerodynamic and FSI Analysis

Artem Korobenko, Yuri Bazilevs*, Kenji Takizawa, Tayfun E. Tezduyar

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Citations (Scopus)


This is the first part of a two-part article on computer modeling of wind turbines. We describe the recent advances made by our teams in ALE-VMS and ST-VMS computational aerodynamic and fluid–structure interaction (FSI) analysis of wind turbines. The ALE-VMS method is the variational multiscale version of the Arbitrary Lagrangian–Eulerian method. The VMS components are from the residual-based VMS method. The ST-VMS method is the VMS version of the Deforming-Spatial-Domain/Stabilized Space–Time method. The ALE-VMS and ST-VMS serve as the core methods in the computations. They are complemented by special methods that include the ALE-VMS versions for stratified flows, sliding interfaces and weak enforcement of Dirichlet boundary conditions, ST Slip Interface (ST-SI) method, NURBS-based isogeometric analysis, ST/NURBS Mesh Update Method (STNMUM), Kirchhoff–Love shell modeling of wind-turbine structures, and full FSI coupling. The VMS feature of the ALE-VMS and ST-VMS addresses the computational challenges associated with the multiscale nature of the unsteady flow, and the moving-mesh feature of the ALE and ST frameworks enables high-resolution computation near the rotor surface. The ST framework, in a general context, provides higher-order accuracy. The ALE-VMS version for sliding interfaces and the ST-SI enable moving-mesh computation of the spinning rotor. The mesh covering the rotor spins with it, and the sliding interface or the SI between the spinning mesh and the rest of the mesh accurately connects the two sides of the solution. The ST-SI also enables prescribing the fluid velocity at the turbine rotor surface as weakly-enforced Dirichlet boundary condition. The STNMUM enables exact representation of the mesh rotation. The analysis cases reported include both the horizontal-axis and vertical-axis wind turbines, stratified and unstratified flows, standalone wind turbines, wind turbines with tower or support columns, aerodynamic interaction between two wind turbines, and the FSI between the aerodynamics and structural dynamics of wind turbines. Comparisons with experimental data are also included where applicable. The reported cases demonstrate the effectiveness of the ALE-VMS and ST-VMS computational analysis in wind-turbine aerodynamics and FSI.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1059-1099
Number of pages41
JournalArchives of Computational Methods in Engineering
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Sept 1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics


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